Sunday, May 20, 2018

'Twin Peaks' vs. 'Doctor Who' at the Saturn Awards

I mentioned "Twin Peaks: The Return" was the other television show with five nominations.  I'll examine it and the other nominees for Best Presentation on Television tomorrow.  Stay tuned.
So I concluded 'Star Trek: Discovery' vs. 'Stranger Things' and 'Black Mirror' at the Saturn Awards and so I shall proceed today.

"Twin Peaks: The Return" tied "Star Trek: Discovery" with five awards, the second-most of any television show at the Saturn Awards behind only "The Walking Dead."  Those nominations are for Best Presentation on Television, Best Actor on a Television Series for Kyle MacLachlan, Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series for the late Miguel Ferrer, Best Guest-Starring Performance on Television for David Lynch, and Best DVD/BD Television Series Release.  Of its competition for Best Presentation on Television, only "Doctor Who" has more than one nominiation; its other recognition was for Best Science Fiction Television Series.  I'll get to that category in a future entry.  For now, here are all the nominees for the Saturn Awards version of Best limited series or movie for television from File 770.
Best Presentation on Television:

"Channel Zero" (SyFy)
"Descendants 2" (Disney Channel)
"Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time" (BBC America)
"Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Return" (Netflix)
"Okja" (Netflix)
"The Sinner" (USA)
"Twin Peaks: The Return" (Showtime)
I begin my comments by being a good environmentalist and recycling what I wrote about this category from How did my Saturn Awards television submissions fare? O.K., I guess.
[T]hree of my submissions here got nominated, two in this category, the Doctor Who Christmas Special: "Twice Upon a Time" and "Okja."  In addition, "Twin Peaks," which I nominated for Action/Thriller, ended up here where I thought it really belonged but didn't have confidence that the selection committee would place it properly.  In addition, I was expecting "Channel Zero" to be nominated and hoping it would be classified as a presentation as well.  Joining the four I submitted or predicted are "Descendents 2," "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return," and "The Sinner."  I'd have missed the first, but the latter two are the kinds of shows I might have submitted instead of "Genius" and "Year Million" had I been paying more attention.
Out of all of these, I think "Twin Peaks" is the favorite.  There are a lot of "Doctor Who" fans out there, but I don't know how many of them have paid for memberships.  On the other hand, I'm pretty sure a lot of already paid members are "Twin Peaks" fans.  The show that probably deserves more attention is "Okja," which won for Feature Film at the 2017 Environmental Media Association Awards for film and television.  On the other hand, "The Sinner" might get more attention at the Emmy Awards.  Here, I don't know if it has enough speculative fiction elements for this electorate.

As for me, I wrote in April "out of this group, I'd probably vote for the Doctor Who Christmas Special unless I get more excited about 'Okja.'"  That's still true, even if I think "Twin Peaks: The Return" has the inside track.

The other category in which the show itself is nominated is under home entertainment.  Unlike Best Science Fiction Television Series, which I'm saving for later, I'm posting this category now.
Best DVD/BD Television Series Release:

"American Gods" (Season 1) (Lionsgate)
"Grimm: The Complete Collection" (Universal)
"The Rockford Files: The Complete Series" (Mill Creek)
"Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series" (Paramount)
"The Vampire Diaries" (The Complete Series) (Warner)
"Westworld: Season One: The Maze" (Warner)
This is a good field, even with "The Rockford Files" as the odd nominee out, although it does qualify as an Action/Thriller television series with high entertainment and nostalgia value.  As for the favorite, I'm not sure.  I suspect it will be "Twin Peaks," but I'm voting for "Westworld."

Follow over the jump for the acting nominations for "Twin Peaks: The Return."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

'Star Trek: Discovery' vs. 'Stranger Things' and 'Black Mirror' at the Saturn Awards

Yesterday, I asked "'Star Trek: Discovery' vs. 'Stranger Things,' anyone?"  The answer is yes as I continue with the Saturn Awards with this entry about the Best New Media Television Series nominees.

"Star Trek: Discovery" is tied with "Twin Peaks: The Return" for the second-most nominations of any television show at the Saturn Awards with five, Best New Media Television Series, Best Actor on a Television Series for Jason Isaacs, Best Actress on a Television Series for Sonequa Martin-Green, Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series for Doug Jones, and Best Guest-Starring Performance on Television for Michelle Yeoh.  That's a good haul of nominations, but nothing like what CBS is attempting to garner at the Emmys.  Watch 'Star Trek: Discovery' Aims For Emmy Awards Consideration from Wochit Entertainment.

In case my readers missed the list, here is an image from

Huh, if I had seen that, I might have moved Jason Issacs to Best Supporting Actor on Television, knocking Kit Harington out and letting Andrew Lincoln back in.  Still, no matter, as those lists were purely theoretical and I promised not to complain about the television acting nominations after that post. has more.
But CBS isn’t done with that, with the DVD screener asking voters to consider Discovery in other categories including Outstanding Music Composition, Outstanding Cinematography, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Title Design, Outstanding Visual Effects, Outstanding Production Design, Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup and Outstanding Costumes (Fantasy/Sci-Fi). forgot Outstanding Main Title Theme, which I think it will be nominated for as well as the last four categories in the quoted paragraph above plus Outstanding Music Composition and maybe Outstanding Cinematography (I'll embed a video of the main title below).  The Creative Arts Emmy Award ceremony will be a big one for "Star Trek: Discovery."  The Primetime Emmys, not so much.

Back to the Saturn Awards.  Two other shows competing with it for Best New Media Television Series have two nominations each, "Stranger Things" with its second nomination for Millie Bobbie Brown who is the returning winner for Best Performance by a Younger Actor on a Television Series, and "Black Mirror," which has its second nomination for Jesse Plemons for Best Guest-Starring Performance on Television.  Here are all the nominees in the category from File 770.
Best New Media Television Series:

Altered Carbon (Netflix)
Black Mirror (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Mindhunter (Netflix)
Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (Amazon / Sony Television)
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
If the entertainment professionals were voting, it would be a close call between Black Mirror and "The Handmaid's Tale" with "Stranger Things" right behind them in third.  With this group, I think it will be close between "Stranger Things" and "Star Trek: Discovery," with the latter having more geek cred with a Hugo nomination for Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (so does "Black Mirror: USS Callister," but I think the Saturn Awards electorate would prefer real Star Trek over a well-crafted imitation).  As for me, I'm voting for "Stranger Things."  My wife and I didn't think paying for CBS All Access was worth it, so we didn't catch the second half of the season for "Star Trek: Discovery" but we binge-watched all of the second season of "Stranger Things" in two days.

Follow over the jump for the acting nominations for "Star Trek: Discovery," "Stranger Things," and "Black Mirror."

Friday, May 18, 2018

'The Walking Dead' vs. 'American Horror Story: Cult' plus Saturn Awards for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Happy Flashback Friday!  For today's tribute to the past, I'm combining this year's version of 'The Walking Dead' vs. 'Westworld' at the 2017 Saturn Awards with the retrospective about the Saturn Awards I promised near the end of Climate for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Yes, an analysis of the competitors for Best Horror Television Series combined with a look back at one of the top posts of the year.  Synergy from synchronicity!

Enough meta.  "The Walking Dead" has seven nominations, the most of any show, Best Horror Television Series, Best Actor on a Television Series for Andrew Lincoln, Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series for Khary Payton, Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series for Danai Gurira and Melissa McBride, Best Performance by a Younger Actor on a Television Series for Chandler Riggs, and Best Guest-Starring Performance on Television for Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  Its stablemate in the franchise, "Fear the Walking Dead," has three, Best Horror Television Series, Best Performance by a Younger Actor on a Television Series for Alycia Debnam-Carey, and Best Guest-Starring Performance on Television for Michael Greyeyes.  Their main competition, at least in terms of number of nominations and mainstream recognition, is "American Horror Story: Cult" with four nominations, Best Horror Television Series, Best Actress on a Television Series for Sarah Paulson, Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series for Evan Peters, and Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series for Adina Porter.  All eight categories for which the horror shows are eligible have at least one nominee from the three shows.  For the rest, here are the nominees, along with my comments, some of which I have recycled from How did my Saturn Awards television submissions fare? O.K., I guess and What if the entertainment professionals voted on the television acting nominations at the Saturn Awards?
Best Horror Television Series:

"American Horror Story: Cult" (FX)
"Ash vs. Evil Dead" (Starz)
"Fear the Walking Dead" (AMC)
"Preacher" (AMC)
"The Strain" (FX)
"Teen Wolf" (MTV)
"The Walking Dead" (AMC)
I already announced my choice in this category last month.
As for my vote, it goes to "The Walking Dead."  The entertainment professionals would vote for "American Horror Story," but they're not part of the Saturn Awards electorate.  I am.
Follow over the jump for my thoughts and choices on the acting nominees.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What if the entertainment professionals voted on the television acting nominations at the Saturn Awards?

It's Throwback Thursday, which means it's only appropriate that follow through on a promise I made in last month's How did my Saturn Awards television submissions fare? O.K., I guess.
I'm almost as displeased at Tatiana Maslany getting snubbed as I was at Eva Green and "Penny Dreadful" being ignored for three consecutive years.  Humph.  I'll plan on writing a post about how these awards would look if the entertainment professionals were in charge of them instead of two people on the Television Committee.  I'll critique the acting nominations there.
I'm going to do the light version of this, which involves postulating what the actors, critics, and other entertainment professionals, along with more dedicated mainstream fans, would nominate in the acting categories given the shows already nominated for this year's Saturn Awards — redoing the show nominations based on insider preferences and then projecting the acting nominations from those would be too much work!  Besides, the data are incomplete.  I won't really know until after this year's Emmy nominations are announced.  I might do the heavy-duty version then.

To determine the hypothetical nominees, I tallied the nominations from eleven awards programs that recognize television acting, the Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics' Choice Television Awards, Television Critics Association Awards, Empire Awards, Gold Derby Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Online Movie and TV Association, Satellite Awards, and Awards Circuit Community Awards, as well as the Saturn Awards.  For every program that nominated an actor from one of the shows already nominated, I tallied one point.  I did not count multiple nominations nor did I double points for wins like I did for the most honored political documentaries of 2017.  However, I did do that to resolve ties for the eighth spot, which happened when only one awards program nominated the performer, in which case I used the lifetime number of wins (2 points) and nominations (1 point) on the actor's IMDB page.  In addition, I double counted the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and BAFTA Awards, which IMDB lists above all others, so that wins in these awards are worth 4 points and nominations are worth 2 points.  I also moved miscategorized nominees, mostly from Best Actress on Television to Best Supporting Actress on Television, but also from Best Supporting Actress to Best Guest Performance on Television.  After that happened, the top eight point earners become the hypothetical nominees.

I decided against moving nominees from Best Guest Performance on Television to Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actor; that would have caused too much trouble.  I also ended up adding one performer to the Best Performance by a Younger Actor on a Television Series alone, as the tiebreaker didn't break the tie for eighth.

With my procedure out of the way, here are the actual vs. hypothetical nominees out of the way.

I begin with the leading men.
Best Actor on a Television Series:

Jon Bernthal Marvel’s The Punisher (Netflix)
Bruce Campbell Ash vs. Evil Dead (Starz)
Sam Heughan Outlander (Starz)
Jason Isaacs Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Andrew Lincoln The Walking Dead (AMC)
Seth MacFarlane The Orville (Fox Television)
Kyle MacLachlan Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime)
Ricky Whittle American Gods (Starz)
This is not an unreasonable list.  These are all the leading male actors in their shows, all of which deserved their nominations.  The possible exception might be Ricky Wittle; the Broadcast Television Critics Association Awards nominated Ian McShane (Mr. Wednesday/Odin) instead.  Still, while Mr. Wednesday is pulling the strings, "American Gods" is told from Shadow Moon's perspective.  It reminds me of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."  It's really Will Turner's story, but Jack Sparrow hijacks it.

Enough of that aside.  Now for the nominees that my methods produced:

Ted Danson "The Good Place"
Brendan Gleeson "Mr. Mercedes"
Sam Heughan "Outlander"
Jason Isaacs "Star Trek: Discovery"
Seth MacFarlane "The Orville"
Kyle MacLachlan "Twin Peaks: The Return"
Ewan McGregor "Fargo"
Bob Odenkirk "Better Call Saul"

Four actors appear on both lists, Sam Heughan, Jason Issacs, Seth MacFarlane, and Kyle MacLachlan.  The highest rated of them was MacLachlan, who was nominated by four awards shows, so that would make him the establishment candidate among all the actual nominees.  That doesn't mean that he will or should win or even that I'll vote for him.  Recall what I've written repeatedly about these awards: "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."  Speaking of which, look at the actors who other awards shows thought worthy of nominations, Ted Danson, who won Best Actor in a Comedy Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards, Brendan Gleeson, Ewan McGregor, and Bob Odenkirk.  The last two were the most recognized by other awards shows, including nominations at the Golden Globes, Emmys, and Critics' Choice Awards.  Hah, the Saturn Awards snubbed Obi Wan Kenobi and Saul Goodman!

Now for the leading ladies actually nominated.
Best Actress on a Television Series:

Gillian Anderson The X-Files (Fox Television)
Caitriona Balfe Outlander (Starz)
Melissa Benoist Supergirl (The CW)
Lena Headey Game of Thrones (HBO)
Sonequa Martin-Green Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Adrianne Palicki The Orville (Fox Television)
Sarah Paulson American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Fargo (FX)
Remember how irked I was at Evan Rachel Wood and Anthony Hopkins being miscategorized for their roles in "Westworld" at last year's Saturn Awards?  I'm almost that annoyed at Lena Headey and Mary Elizabeth Winstead being nominated as lead actresses when everyone else considers them to be in supporting roles.  As a result, I'm removing them from this category and placing them in competition for Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series.  Here's the resulting field when I do that and use other awards shows' nominations to determine the hypothetical nominees.

Gillian Anderson "The X-Files"
Caitriona Balfe "Outlander"
Kristen Bell "The Good Place"
Melissa Benoist "Supergirl"
Jessica Biel "The Sinner"
Carrie Coon "Fargo"
Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"
Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story: Cult"

Again, half the actual field survives the process.  Of them, the most nominated is Caitriona Balfe.  I was considering voting for her last year, but didn't.  This year, I plan on it.  As for the other four, the most highly nominated were Elisabeth Moss and Carrie Coon with nine and six nominations respectively.  Moss is not alone.  All of the other Emmy winning actresses from "The Handmaid's Tale" were ignored as well.  Talk about sticking it to the experts!  As for Coon, I was trying to get "The Leftovers" nominated in hopes of her being nominated for Best Actress on a Television Series and failed.  Instead, "Fargo" was nominated and she still didn't get recognized.  Coon got screwed twice!  I'd have also liked to see Kristen Bell here.  She deserved it.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the hypothetical fields of nominees.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Action, Thriller, Independent, and International Films at the Saturn Awards

Today, I finished writing about the Saturn Awards movie nominees with the "entry about the Action, Thriller, Independent, and International Film nominees" I promised yesterday. Without any further ado, here are the nominees in all four categories from File 770 along with my comments.
Best Action / Adventure Film Release:

"Baby Driver" (TriStar / Sony Pictures)
"Dunkirk" (Warner Bros.)
"The Fate of the Furious" (Universal)
"The Greatest Showman" (20th Century Fox)
"Hostiles" (Entertainment Studios)
"Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (20th Century Fox)
I haven't decided yet which of these movies to vote for. The Oscar winner for Editing and Best Picture nominee is "Dunkirk."  The three-time Oscar nominee is "Baby Driver."  The surprise, but still with an Oscar nomination for Original Song, is "The Greatest Showman."  In order, those are the entertainment establishment's nominees and mine as well.  That doesn't mean that I think any of them will win, even if one of them should.  Instead, I suspect "The Fate of the Furious" is likely to walk away with the Saturn statuette.  I watched that movie on a flight this summer and it was pure dumb escapist fun.  As I think I've mentioned in almost every entry of this series so far, "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."  Voting for "The Fate of the Furious" would fit all three criteria.

As I have for the past two entries, I'm pointing out a snub in this category, "Atomic Blonde."  That could have been here instead of "The Greatest Showman" or "Hostiles," but may have deserved not being nominated.  I wrote as much in the comments to Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 58 at Booman Tribune.
"Atomic Blonde" had a great star, a great soundtrack, and an interesting premise, but it ended up being kind of a dud.  I was expecting it to earn a nomination for Best Action / Adventure Film Release at the Saturn Awards, but it got beat out by the obscure film "Hostiles" and the musical "The Greatest Showman" in addition to all the films I expected to be nominated, "Baby Driver," "Dunkirk," "The Fate of the Furious" (in which Charlize Theron also starred), and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle."  "Atomic Blonde" couldn't get any respect from the people who honor films the Hollywood professionals don't respect!
Oh, well, at least it has a nomination at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Fight.

Best Thriller Film Release:

"Brawl in Cell Block 99" (RLJE Films)
"Murder on the Orient Express" (20th Century Fox)
"The Post" (20th Century Fox)
"Suburbicon" (Paramount)
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (Fox Searchlight)
"Wind River" (TWC)
I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote in Three thrillers for the Saturn Awards at my Dreamwidth journal.
During the past week, my wife and I watched three movies nominated for Best Thriller Film Release at the Saturn Awards. While we both watched it for the entertainment, I was also evaluating which one of the three would get my vote, as I am a Saturn Awards member.

"Murder on the Orient Express" was a remake of a movie I watched with my parents in the 1970s, so I wasn't surprised at the twist; it was the same. I did enjoy the all-star cast, the settings, and the lavish production values. I was surprised it was not nominated for an Academy Award. It was obvious Oscar bait, probably too obvious.

"The Post" won Best Film about Politics and Government at the first Coffee Party Entertainment Awards for movies. It deserved it. It was indeed a thriller, although a low-key one. It also had the best ending.

"Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" had great acting, a decent amount of action, and great performances [ETA: camera work and editing]. Unfortunately, my wife and I found its ending disappointing. I'm not voting for it, although I'm still considering voting for Frances McDormand for Best Actress in a Movie. Instead, I think I'm casting my vote in this category for "The Post."
The only other nominee I'd consider to be serious would be "Wind River."  "Suburbicon" was a high-concept flop and "Brawl in Cell Block 99" deservedly earned a nomination for Best Overlooked Film from the Hawaii Film Critics Society (it lost to "Wind River" and "T2 Trainspotting").  I would have suggested "Molly's Game" instead.

Best Independent Film Release:

"I, Tonya" (Neon)
"LBJ" (Electric Entertainment)
"Lucky" (Magnolia)
"Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" (Annapurna Pictures)
"Super Dark Times" (The Orchard)
"Wonder" (Lionsgate)
"Wonderstruck" (Amazon / Roadside Attractions)
Only one film in the field is both an Oscar winner (Supporting Actress for Allison Janney) and a nominee (Best Female Lead for Margot Robbie) and winner (Best Editing) at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, "I, Tonya."  That makes it my likely choice.  That doesn't make it the favorite, as this is its only nomination at the Saturn Awards.  Instead, I think one of "Wonder" or "Wonderstruck," each of which has three nominations here, will likely be the winner.  Of the two, "Wonder" was nominated for an Oscar for Best Hair and Make-Up, but didn't win.  It was also nominated for three awards at the Makeup and Hair Stylists Guild Awards, but was shut out.  I was not impressed, but the bulk of the Saturn Awards electorate might care.  On the other hand, the Saturn Awards are the only awards show to have nominated "Wonderstruck" for any awards.  Voting for it might be a good way to "stick it to the experts."  Speaking of which, the dark horse would be "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women," which could win if all the comic book fans voted for it.  I don't think that will happen, especially since I think most of them are voting for "Black Panther," not "Wonder Woman."

Given the almost complete disjunction between this field and the movies nominated at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, there are too many potential snubs to name.  That written, "Call Me by Your Name," "Lady Bird," "The Big Sick," and "The Florida Project" would have been a high-quality independent field in addion to the three movies I mentioned above.

Best International Film Release:

"Baahubali 2: The Conclusion" (Arka Media Works)
"Brimstone" (Momentum Pictures)
"The Lodgers" (Epic Pictures Group)
"The Man Who Invented Christmas" (Bleecker Street)
"The Square" (Magnolia)
"Wolf Warrior 2" (Well Go USA)
"The Square" is far and away the establishment choice in this field, as it not only earned an Oscar nomination, but also nominations for Best Foreign Language Film at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and Golden Globe Awards.  In fact, it's the only nominee from any of these awards in this field, which means I'm likely to vote for it.  On the other hand, "The Man Who Invented Christmas," which I thought might be nominated for Best Fantasy Film, was.  Remember, this is an International Film category, not a Foreign Language one, as "The Man Who Invented Christmas" is in English.  I suspect that will give it a leg up with the Saturn Awards electorate.  As for snubs, both "Thelma" and "Body and Soul" were both foreign language speculative fiction movies nominated at the Critics' Choice Awards and Academy Awards, respectively, but they weren't nominated here.

Follow over the jump for the other categories with nominees from these films.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

'Get Out' vs. 'It' at the Saturn Awards

I closed 'The Shape of Water' vs. 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Saturn Awards with a program note followed by a question: "I plan on posting an entry about the horror nominees tomorrow.  "Get Out" vs. "IT," anyone?"  Time to follow through with a discussion of a showdown between last year's most honored horror movie and last year's  highest grossing horror movie.

Like all the other categories so far, at least one nominee is an establishment favorite.  "Get Out" earned four Oscar nominations and took home one of them for Original Screenplay, an award it also won at the WGA Awards.  It also won the First-Time Feature Award at the DGA Awards and Daniel Kaluuya won Rising Starat the BAFTA Awards.  That's quite impressive.  Here at the Saturn Awards, it's nominated for Best Horror Film, Best Director and Best Writing for Jordan Peele, Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya, and Best Editing.

Competing against "Get Out" are the highest grossing horror film of all time, "It," and a bunch of run of the mill horror movies.  Here is the field from File 770.
Best Horror Film Release:

"47 Meters Down" (Entertainment Studios)
"Annabelle: Creation" (Warner Bros.)
"Better Watch Out" (Well Go USA)
"Get Out" (Universal)
"It" (Warner Bros.)
"Mother!" (Paramount)
As I wrote yesterday, "I explicitly take the establishment position unless persuaded otherwise by the performance."  Therefore, I'm voting for "Get Out."  On the other hand, as I've written repeatedly, "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."  Voting for "It" would do all three, so I think "It" has a good chance of upsetting "Get Out."  However, at the two awards show where the two went head-to-head, "Get Out" beat "It" both times.  At the the Fright Meter Awards, "Get Out" won Best Horror Movie, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.  At the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, it won Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie.  I find those facts reassuring.

As for the rest of the field, if 2017 had been a normal year for horror films, like 2016, when I had trouble deciding between "Don't Breathe" and "Train to Busan," "Annabelle: Creation" would likely win.  It was not a normal year, pun intended, so they don't stand a chance.

Before I move on to the rest of the nominations for the horror film, I am again pointing out a snub, this time of "The Mummy."  Like "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," it was a multi-Razzie nominee, earning nods for Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor for Russell Crowe, Worst Supporting Actress for Sofia Boutella, Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel, Worst Director for Alex Kurtzman, and Worst Screenplay for more people than I care to name.  It also earned Tom Cruise a "win" for Worst Actor.  On the other hand, "Mother!" was also a Razzie nominee for Worst Director for Darren Aronofsky, Worst Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, and Worst Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem, who was cross nominated for his role in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  That didn't stop it from being nominated here.  I think it's problem was that it was an attempt at Oscar bait ("Black Swan," anyone?) that failed spectacularly.  The result was that it attracted the attention of the Razzie voters in the way I wrote about Eddie Redmayne's nomination and eventual "win" as Worst Supporting Actor for his role in "Jupiter, Ascending."
In addition to the covert misogyny I suspect among the voters, there is overt Schadenfreude; the voters seem to delight in finding bad performances by big name performers and creators and using them to bring the highest low.  I don't have a problem with that, so I find it to be a useful role for the Razzies.
I think both misogyny and Schadenfreude were at play in the nominations for "Mother!"  Therefore, I was glad when none of the nominees "won."  I'm also glad that it was the one movie with Razzie nominations that earned a nomination here.

Enough of my ranting.  Follow over the jump for my thoughts about the rest of the nominations for "Get Out" and "It."

Monday, May 14, 2018

'The Shape of Water' vs. 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Saturn Awards

As I mentioned in Climate for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I need to concentrate on the Saturn Awards between now and the deadline for voting, May 28.  To that end, I am looking at the third-most nominated movie at this year's ceremony, "The Shape of Water."  The Best Picture at the Oscars earned nine nominations: Best Fantasy Film Release, Best Actress in a Film for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actress in a Film for Octavia Spencer, Best Film Director for Guillermo del Toro, Best Film Screenplay for Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, Best Film Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Film Music, and Best Film Make-Up.  I'll list and comment on all the categories in which it is nominated, along with Best Film Costume Designer and Best Film Special/Visual Effects, categories in which its likely competitors for Best Fantasy Film Release, "Beauty and the Beast" and "Kong: Skull Island" have nominations.

Here are the categories in which "The Shape of Water" and "Beauty and the Beast" earned nominations from File 770.
Best Fantasy Film Release:

"Beauty and the Beast" (Walt Disney Studios)
"Downsizing" (Paramount)
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (Sony Pictures)
"Kong: Skull Island" (Warner Bros.)
"Paddington 2" (Warner Bros.)
"The Shape of Water" (Fox Searchlight)
"The Shape of Water" earned 14 Oscar nominations, winning four of them, Best Picture, Best Director, Original Score, and Production Design.  It also won awards at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and BAFTA Awards, so it's the entertainment establishment's choice.  It's also mine, as I explicitly take the establishment position unless persuaded otherwise by the performance.

If the entertainment professionals were voting, its main competition would be "Beauty and the Beast" with four nominations at the Saturn Awards — Best Fantasy Film Release, Best Actress in a Film for Emma Watson, and Best Film Production Design, where it is competing against "The Shape of Water," and Best Film Costume Designer.  It would also be stiff competition with a younger electorate, such as that for the Teen Choice Awards, where it won three awards including Choice Fantasy Movie or the MTV Awards, where it won two including Movie of the Year.  I don't think a lot of either are voting, especially since the teens and tweens won't be paying the $25 or $40 to become members.*

The third film that might be the entertainment industry's choice is "Kong: Skull Island," which has two nominations at the Saturn Awards, Best Fantasy Film Release and Best Special Effects, the latter being a category in which it was nominated for an Oscar.  I'm not too worried about it.  Instead, I think another fantasy in a jungle with exotic animals could be the spoiler, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."  Remember, as I wrote first in Speculative fiction nominees at the 2018 SAG Awards, "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."  "Jumanji" fits the bill; it's very entertaining, it's not subtle, and voting for it would stick it to the experts, as it is the second highest grossing film to not earn an Oscar.  In fact, it's only nominations and victories for the movie itself outside of the Saturn Awards are at the Kids' Choice Awards and MTV Awards.  On the one hand, that would stick it to the experts.  On the other, maybe I shouldn't worry for one of the reasons that I'm not too worried about "Beauty and the Beast" — too young a fan base.

Before I move on to the rest of the nominations, I want to point out a snub, the absence of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  It was the third highest grossing fantasy movie of 2017 and earned five nominations at the Teen Choice Awards, but got no love at the Saturn Awards.  However, it was also a multi-Razzie nominee with Johnny Depp earning two nominations for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo along with "His Worn-Out Drunk Routine" and Javier Bardem earning one for Worst Supporting Actor combined with his performance in "mother!"  That might have meant something this year.  The Saturn Awards ignored all the Razzie nominees other than "mother!" — those nominations might have been undeserved — even though there were quite a few movies that were eligible for awards and Razzie nominations didn't deter the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films from nominating either "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" or "Independence Day: Resurgence" last year.  Either the Saturn Awards movie committees agreed with the Razzie voters or there were enough quality fantasy films that they could safely ignore the fifth (and I hope final) installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and nominate "Downsizing" and "Paddington 2" instead.  In any event, it's a quality field.

Enough of my ranting.  Follow over the jump for my thoughts about the rest of the nominations for "The Shape of Water," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Kong: Skull Island."

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Baby names from entertainment for Mother's Day 2018

Happy Mother's Day!  To celebrate mothers this Sunday, I'm going to follow up on last year's Baby names from entertainment for Mother's Day 2017 and Baby names inspired by fandom for Mother's Day and 'Star Wars' baby names for Father's Day from two years ago by looking at last year's baby names inspired by entertainment.

I begin with Social Security's Top Ten Baby Names of 2017.

Just arrived! Find out the top 10 baby names of 2017 from Social Security, the source for baby names each year!
Emma, Liam, Logan, and  have definite entertainment and  connections, as Hello Giggles notes.
Emma was the top name for girls last year, the same year that Emma Watson played Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Emma Stone won an Oscar for La La Land.
Not only did the actress's name stay on top, here character's name rose as well.  According to the Social Security baby names page (nothing like going to the source), Belle rose 125 places to 808th from 933th.

Back to Hello Giggles.
Meanwhile, the number one name for baby boys was Liam, and it’s possible that there might have been a few One Direction or Liam Hemsworth fans among parents.

These names have definitely surged in popularity over the past few years. According to the Social Security Administration, Emma was the 17th most popular name in 2000 before its takeover as number one starting in 2014. Meanwhile, Liam skyrocketed from the 140th most popular name in 2000 all the way to the top of the list last year.
2 Olivia...You might think of Olivia Pope from Scandal when you hear this name.
3 Ava...The most famous Ava today is probably Ava DuVernay.
2 Noah...Noah means “rest” or “comfort,” but we can’t help but think of Noah from The Notebook.
5 Logan...Wolverine’s real first name is Logan, so this name definitely sounds tough.
10 Jacob...Jacob is another timeless option, although it’s not as popular as it was right after Twilight came out.
Hello Giggles was not alone in noting the entertainment and celebrity connections to last year's popular baby names.  Abby Sandel did as well in Most Popular Baby Names 2018.

Let’s talk about all the news from the new US baby names list, just released today!
Yes, she mentioned Emma and Logan, but she also talked about names outside of the top ten, especially from "Game of Thrones."  Follow over the jump for those and names from Star Wars and both Marvel and DC Comics.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

U.S. leaving Iran nuclear agreement pushes U.S. oil price above $70 plus driving update for May 2018: Pearl

"I'm not done with the effects of Trump pulling the U.S. out of the agreement.  Look for news about the high price of oil when I post my next driving update for Pearl."  That's what I wrote to conclude Vox on U.S. withdrawing from Iran nuclear agreement helps update doom and risk for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Since Pearl just passed another thousand miles yesterday, it's time for me to follow through.

Even before the announcement, oil prices were going up.  CNNMoney explains Why oil prices are rising from May 7, 2018.

Oil prices have been climbing, reaching the highest level since 2014. CNN's John Defterios explains what's driving the rise.
That was the environment in which the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement was made. CNNMoney didn't even consider the possible effects of the announcment.  On the other hand, CNBC did in Oil Surges But President Donald Trump’s Iran Deal Announcement Looms.

Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial and Brenda Shaffer of Atlantic Council discuss the rise in the price of oil how President Trump's announcement on the Iran deal may effect the price which crossed $70 a barrel for the first time since 2014.
After the announcement, WXYZ looked at the effects on consumers at greater detail in US pulling out of Iran nuclear deal raises concerns about rising gas prices.

By pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, many are worried about rising gas prices.
As predicted, oil prices shot up.  On Thursday, Reuters reported that West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the main U.S. oil future, reached $71.89 and Brent Crude, the main European oil future, hit the $78 level.  Both were three-and-one-half-year highs.  On Friday, Bloomberg reported slightly lower prices.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery fell 66 cents to settle at $70.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 2.3 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent for July settlement slipped 35 cents to $77.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices gained 3 percent this week. The global benchmark crude traded at a $6.44 premium to July WTI.
Despite the prices settling lower on Friday, the long-term perspective looks grim, as Bloomberg reported Oil at $100 Is a Possibility Next Year, Bank of America Says.
Oil prices could rally to $100 a barrel next year, a level not seen since 2014, as supply risks in Venezuela and Iran strain global markets, according to Bank of America Corp.

Brent futures, trading near $77 on Thursday, are set to reach $90 in the second quarter of 2019 as world inventories shrink, the bank said. As that view hinges on OPEC reviving output and a limited impact on Iran from U.S. sanctions, prices could go even higher, it said, becoming the first Wall Street bank to suggest a return to $100.
Eep.  Remember what I wrote about oil prices in The tax bill and the U.S. economy in 2018 and beyond?  "Three things could trigger the next recession...The second is a rapid rise in oil prices, which has occurred either slightly in advance or concurrently with every recession since 1973."  Here's how I thought that would play out.
[T]he extra disposable income runs the risk of overheating an already booming economy, never mind that the fruits of that economy are very inequitably distributed.  That will increase demand for oil and other energy sources, making their prices go up.  That will cause inflation to rise again as energy costs become distributed throughout the economy.  Higher inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to raise short term rates, eventually inverting the yield curve.  Viola, recession!
I didn't consider a supply shock caused by Trump's action, but that has now been added to the mix, causing the price of oil to rise above a critical threshold.  The U.S. withdrawal from the agreement has now made a recession more likely, as it has pulled one of the triggers of the next economic downturn.  Therefore, I am not ready to delay my call for a recession beginning by this coming December.  Conditions look riper for it all the time.

Follow over the jump for the driving update that prompted today's entry.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Climate for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Happy Flashback Friday!  It's time for me to post another retrospective of last year's most read entries.  This time, it will be what I promised in Holidays for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Arbor Day and again in Vox on U.S. withdrawing from Iran nuclear agreement helps update doom and risk for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, a review of the most popular climate posts.  As I wrote last year, "climate change is a recurring subject of retrospectives on this blog going back to its very first year.  It's good to know some things don't change."*

NASA says 2017 second hottest year on record from February 1, 2018 was the twelfth most popular entry of the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News and the tenth most read actually posted during the blogging year just ended with 4462 raw page views.  It was also the third most popular entry of February 2018 both overall and posted during the month with 4387 default page views.  This post had 69 page views before being shared at the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page.  It earned 1724 page views in the first two hours and ~3750 in the first 24 hours after being shared.

The other top climate entry during the seventh year of this blog was Trump does not recognize climate change as a national security threat from December 19, 2017 with 2769 raw page views as of March 20, 2018.  The entry was the 29th most read overall for the year and 25th most read among entries posted between March 21, 2017 and March 20, 2018.  It maxed out at 2689 default page views on January 18, 2018.  It was the fourth most read entry overall during January 2018, ending the month with 2592 default page views.  It was shared at the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page at 10 P.M. on January 5, 2018 when it had 124 raw page views.  It earned 946 page views in the first two hours and 2300+ in the first 24 hours after being shared.

Doomsday Clock advances 30 seconds to two minutes before midnight from January 31, 2018, which I reviewed it in Vox on U.S. withdrawing from Iran nuclear agreement helps update doom and risk for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News. was also about climate.  Read about it there.

I will post only one more retrospective between now and Memorial Day, one about the Saturn Awards.  That way, I can devote enough attention to the Saturn Awards nominees before voting closes on May 28.

Follow over the jump for the footnote, a linkspam of previous posts about top climate entries and the other retrospectives of the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.